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July 26, 2018
9781625343284
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July 26, 2018
9781625343291
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Exhibiting Scotland

Objects, Identity, and the National Museum

In 1707 Scotland ceased to exist as an independent country and became part of Great Britain. Yet it never lost its distinct sense of identity, history, and politics. To preserve the country's unique antiquities and natural specimens, a Scottish earl founded the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1780, at the beginning of the Enlightenment's museum boom. Now numbering twelve million objects and specimens and representing everything from archaeology to applied arts and design, from social history to science and the natural world, these collections formed the foundation for what eventually became the National Museum of Scotland.

In Exhibiting Scotland, Alima Bucciantini traces how these collections have helped tell the changing stories of this country for centuries and how the museum reflects the Scots' continuing negotiation of their place within modern Britain.

About the Author

Alima Bucciantini is assistant professor of history at Duquesne University.

Review

"Exhibiting Scotland is a fascinating case study of the creation of a national museum. Alima Bucciantini shows how collections and exhibitions capture changing ideas of history and nation. Telling the history of recent Scottish nationalism alongside the history of the National Museum of Scotland reveals the ways that national museums perform, reflect, and sustain national identity."—Steven Lubar, author of Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present

"The collection of objects in a museum can be driven by chance, serendipity or fashion but the endeavours of a national museum founded in Scotland in 1781 are witness to a painstaking and systematic construction of a nation's history and identity. This was a nation in pursuit of redemption following Scotland's loss of statehood in 1707, and recovery of the 'ancient honours and constitution' was among the patriotic intentions of the museum's founders. Alima Bucciatini's analysis of 'Objects, Identity and the National Museum' builds on the prominence of objects today in the public consciousness and on historical studies that handle contested concepts such as nationhood and identity. In modern terms, the National Museum as symbiosis of building and collections becomes a cultural and political entity, and its custodians become architects of national identity. Exhibiting Scotland offers a vital handbook for all those contemplating the role of a national museum now and in the future."—Professor Hugh Cheape, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, University of the Highlands and Islands and author of Tartan: The Highland Habit

"Bucciantini offers a well-written, timely work on the important role of artifacts and historical objects—and how they are displayed—in the creation of nationalism and national identity . . . Highly recommended."—CHOICE
University of Massachusetts Press
Public History in Historical Perspective

9781625343284 : exhibiting-scotland-bucciantini
Hardback
252 Pages
$90.00 USD
9781625343291 : exhibiting-scotland-bucciantini
Paperback / softback
252 Pages
$37.95 USD

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